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Hotel & Resort Reviews: Antigua & Barbuda
Royal Antiguan 08/20/02
Reviewers Rating: Fair
Let me first say that Antigua, her people, her beaches are lovely. There were several locals trying to get you to go on their boat tours and other beach vendors trying to sell you necklaces etc. If you politely told them you were not interested they would leave you be. They were not overly pushy.

We spent seven nights at this 4-apple rated hotel on their all-inclusive plan. The common areas were well kept, lobby, restaurants, gardens, bars, casino, beaches all have a polished look, even if it does look a little aged. But this beauty is only skin deep, as you’ll see in the following report. The beach at the Royal Antiguan was fabulous. This was probably the best part of the Royal Antiguan. It did rain almost every day we were there, but it usually passed after a few minutes. There were non-motorized sports you could participate in like kayaking.

The first night was destroyed as soon as I checked on my son at the pool, not even one hour after check-in. A wooden disk had been placed over one of the filter holes around the pool and I soon found myself in excruciating pain. Surrounding guests came to my aid to pull my leg out the hole. Ice packs for the entire night, with painkillers. The pool can be hazardous too, as the interior surfaces are rough in some spots. The barstools in the pool water gave my son a bad bruise. I learned throughout the stay that several children had fallen through that same hole before I got there with only minor injuries. The next day, they had fashioned a makeshift metal cover from an ashtray liner, 2 more days later, a plant covered the hole. Finally on Sunday, a real pool cover was placed on the hole.

Night 2, the room is dark. My husband gets up to go to the rest room and is greeted by a puddle of water formed in the hall from a drip in the ceiling. Zoom!!!! Flat on his back. He was unable to participate in ANY activity for the remainder of the trip, except as an observer. NO snorkle, no jetski, no swimming, no horsebackriding.

The staff, both hotel and tour operator, was initially responsive, and promised much. My husband, cautious about foreign medicine, declined treatment and opted for painkillers and rest. Who wants to spend their vacation with CATSCANs and MRI’s, and what could they possibly do with the information? By day 4, we still hadn't received our orientation that we missed and never received the personal tour promised by management. At departure we learned that our APPLE representative had NEVER called airline to make the arrangements for the extra space that would be needed to service his back needs. We documented 3 phone calls, checked the desk daily during the hours posted, no help. Throughout the trip, I searched for different things to relieve the pressure on the disk; a ball, pool ring, stuffed toy. Finally, we found that a full role of tissue made a great makeshift pressure point reliever.

They did upgrade us to a poolside suite. Well-worn, wooden plank patches to ceiling problems. Of the 2 barstools in the room, I had to move one out of harm's way; the seat was not connected to the base, which would have led to another fall.

All the floors are flat, shiny white tiles, good for cleaning, not good for traction. If you do still go, place towels down for rugs to keep yourself upright. Some examples: the furniture was mildewed, the bed pillows were completely worn out and very lumpy, the ceilings were stained and mildewed in spots, the walls needed painting, the bedlamps were covered with dust and rust, the lampshades were speckled with stains and mildewed, the towels were stained and threadbare and the patio screens were ripped. The closet space was large but there weren't enough hangers for two people. The room was cleaned daily and we had no complaints with that.

The life vests for snorkeling, etc. are all hand-me-downs from other resorts. I could barely read SANDALS on the ones we used - faded and torn.

The best meal we had were the omelets at breakfast. I'm not sure if the menu was limited because of the all-inclusive plan, but selections and palatability were average. I recommend dining at all the establishments at least once. You should especially hit the Barringtons once at night because the staff is fantastic. The service varied from poor at times, to fantastic. I would say that it was average service.

Don't traverse the first floor corridors. We did to stay out the rain one morning after breakfast. None of the first floor rooms appear to be for guests. All are for junk. Room discards, garbage, electrical, strewn everywhere with no logical pattern. Exposed wiring everywhere you looked. I felt great that we weren’t in the tower room anymore. One spark could set the whole thing off.


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